People are more likely to purchase items their friends recommend, and unbiased reviews are the next best thing. According to a study by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.2 Including reviews and other User Generated Content (UGC) shows potential customers real people are buying and using your products (as a side benefit, it also helps with organic SEO).
When possible, allow reviews to come in unaltered unless the language violates terms of service etc. A few bad reviews show reviewers are real and customers understand not everyone will be 100% satisfied. Too many bad reviews, however, will cause customers to take pause – and will provide some good feedback for your business.
A recent study by one of our strategic partners YotPo highlights the power of UGC. In this study, they looked at data from over 200,000 e-commerce stores across industries. They found 32% of users viewed UGC (this includes reviews, instagram photos, Q&A content) when visiting a store. The average conversion rate for all users was 3.28%. For those who viewed UGC it was 5.65% – a 161% increase in conversions!3
Social proof extends beyond reviews and content on your site to your other social media channels. The multi-channel experience should be well co-ordinated and consistent, but also play off the strengths of each platform (instagram/pinterest can be more playful or themed, LinkedIn articles highlight business acumen etc).
The social arena allows your business to showcase itself in different ways, and can go a long way to humanize your company and build rapport with your customers. It also gives you a direct communication line to your customers. Timely responses to feedback and questions show you value the people who buy your products.
As more and more people, companies and clients move to purchasing products online, it is increasingly important to elevate your business above the competition. Building trust through transparency, design, and social proof can differentiate your business from others in the same space. As customer’s expectations are met and exceeded, they become loyal to your brand, preferring to do business with someone they know and trust.